A ‘David and Goliath’ employment tribunal between a cleaner who worked in Meta’s, formerly Facebook, offices has been called off.
Guillermo Camacho, a father-of-two from Bolivia, of Stockwell Road, Brixton, was set to begin an employment tribunal today against his former employers Churchill Services, which he cleaned the Meta offices in Euston for.
Mr Camacho, a union representative for the Cleaners and Allied Independent Workers Union (CAIWU), was fired by Churchill Services in October 2021 after he organised protests outside Meta‘s offices, where he worked for seven years, after cleaners complained about an increased workload.
The protests began in August 2021 when cleaners claim the number of staff dropped from 24 to 20, while the size of the area to be cleaned increased from five floors to 14 floors.
Protesters outside Meta offices last Friday (Picture: James Twomey)
Following the protests, Mr Camacho was suspended and put on “gardening leave”, as well as being barred from entering the building.
In September 2021, Mr Camacho was informed that the investigation was closed. He was then dismissed in October.
He told the South London Press: “I worked in the building for seven years and they said there was a problem with my performance, but I’d never had any problems before the protests.
“It was my only job. I have two kids and was also sending money to my family in Bolivia. It’s a fight with a big a company that want to take advantage of people who come to this country with a dream, but we are made silent.
“They think we are lower people who are not allowed to speak up, but I am still fighting. People, don’t be silent. Fight for your rights.”
Mr Camacho said he believes his suspension was a result of “third party pressure” – when a customer or client exercises pressure for a worker to be dismissed.
The cleaning of Meta’s buildings is undertaken by outsourced staff employed by the Churchill Group, which in turn has a contract with Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) to which Meta outsources the management of its offices in London.
Mr Camacho filed a complaint to the London Central Employment Tribunal against Churchill – as direct employer – for an award of compensation for unfair dismissal, detriment and victimisation due to trade union membership and activities.
It was confirmed that the tribunal was called off, although whether Mr Camacho and Churchill reached a resolution could not be confirmed.
Meta, JLL and Churchill Services have all been contacted for comment.
Pictured top: Guillermo Camacho protests outside Meta building (Picture: Amnesty International)